Looking at the Worm Moon

It is the season of the cough
That time between
Cold and warm
When the Worm Moon shines
Without heat
A promise unfulfilled
Salt without flavor
Pepper without zing
The robin arrives too soon
And huddles hungry
Suppressing a song

This is my last entry for National Poetry Month. I combined 2 prompts from the Looking Foolish Scavenger Hunt (#12 -cough, and #15 – Refer to one season, seasoning, and one phase of the moon) into one poem. This has been a rough Spring this year. I’m fortunate that my cough is gone and the lingering sickness has finally been beaten into submission. I had to break down and eat a couple oranges to supplement my massive doses of Vitamin C. I’m so sick of chicken soup I refuse to even open one of those “Chicken Soup for the Soul” books! We had really nice weather for 3 whole days before it got cold and wet and miserable again. I’m worried that there won’t be a summer. At this rate we’ll slide from winter into fall and bypass spring and summer altogether! On a similiar note, my in-laws sold their summer home in Arizona last week. They will be living in Northern Indiana year round. Yes, they have lost their minds. But if you must know, I’m glad they will be here all winter and will join us for Thanksgiving and Christmas from now on. Misery loves company…

Looking Short, Stubby, and Uncoordinated

This is my latest offering for NPM using the Looking Foolish Scavenger Hunt prompts #13. Your favorite dessert and #14. Describe your toes without using the word toe(s). I wrote this as a nonet. A nonet is just like a reverse etheree except it starts with 9 syllables instead of 10. There is no requirement for rhyming.

I am more highly evolved than most
My feet no longer prehensile
Not able to hold a spoon
Or eat chocolate pudding
Good thing I use hands
Distal digits
Are useless
When I

Feet are funny things. And toes are even funnier. I am the anomaly in my house. All the male members of this family have toes like monkeys. They can pick-up things, manipulate objects, and more then likely would be able to perform most daily tasks if they lost the use of their arms. I however would not be able to unscrew the toothpaste cap, load the toothbrush, and accomplish oral hygiene but the 3 of them would have minty fresh breath and pearly white teeth! There are lots of inspirational videos and stories about people who struggled and overcame the lack or loss of their arms. These folks are able to get dressed and drive and cook and paint or draw or even type their great novel. If I was lucky I’d be dressed in a poncho and have a straw by which I’d manage to suck up whatever I could find in a liquid/semi-liquid form. It wouldn’t be pretty. All that because my toes are so short that they don’t bend.

Looking for Spring to Arrive – Someday

For the Looking Foolish Scavenger Hunt using prompt# 11 – sneeze, I present an initial rhyme poem. For initial rhymes, all the rhymes occur at the beginning of the sentence instead of at the end, as is more traditional. I made this a little harder in that I decided that I was going to add a monorhyme requirement for the initial rhyme. Then it seem of no consequence to add rhyming couplets at the end of the lines… Yes I’m a glutton for punishment!

Sneeze and a bless you can follow
Wheeze as asthma makes it hard to swallow
Tease when weather sets the stage
Please spring come but the winter winds rage
Freeze our hands, feet and nose
Seize our breath and chill the toes
Keys unlock warmth and blindly we grope
Squeeze from our hearts the last drop of hope
Ease the disappointment of fruit crop frosted
Trees sap reserve is completely exhausted
Knees hit rock hard ground in supplication
Guarantees unconfirmed at prayer’s cessation
Bees are seen to drink from a frozen flower
Degrees all that separate winter from spring’s power

We had snow in APRIL for pity’s sake. I’m pretty sure my daffodils are done for. (no blooms this year) I was keeping an eye on the fruit tree report (I have an inside source as her parents own an orchard) and it looks bad for the cherries. The apple trees hadn’t started to flower so that’s a blessing. So to recap: winter still has a hand on spring’s throat, the cold germs are making everyone sick, and the poor beleaguered bees and robins and fruit trees are struggling to endure this “spring”.

Looking to Put Out the Fire

Although this is Wednesday and I normally post the Merit Bidwell saga, I’ve had to postpone the episode to try to squeeze in the poems to finish my scavenger hunt… Not to worry Merit will return soon!

Ghost pepper salsa
What is consumed must come out
Fire in the hole

This is a senyrus, a type of haiku. The difference is that the senyrus is not about the seasons and lofty ideals but instead is on the crude side pointing out the humor in the human condition. The poem still is a 3 line stanza with a syllable count of 5-7-5. This poem uses prompt #6 – fire from the Looking Foolish Scavenger Hunt for NPM.

This poem is brought to you by son#1 at the age of 10. Doritos had just come out with a new flavor of chip – Salsa Verde. He along with his brother and father had purchased a bag and they were relishing them. I was offered one and the smell singed my nose hairs. I declined. Although Sparky liked spicy food, he believes in moderation. He stopped eating after a good handful. Son#2 stopped as soon as his father did – no doubt because he was eating them to prove he was as tough as his father and older brother. But son#1 polished off the entire bag. I was awakened at some point in the dead of night by the wailing of son#1 calling for me. I stumbled out of bed thinking he was in mortal danger. He was in the bathroom. He was crying. The lesson that what is spicy going in is likely going to be spicy coming out was painfully impressed on his tender mind and well, the other end too. A cold compress and a couple “Tucks” and he was able to go back to bed. I couldn’t tell Sparky what was happening because if I had I would have not been able to continue to suppress my laughter. It was only after the children had left the house was I able to relay the story. We still laugh about it.

Looking to Cure Hiccups

To cure a hiccup
Start by sneaking up
A loud noise to shake up
Drink backward from a cup
Toss a rubber chicken – heads up!
Pet a cat or kiss a pup
Play 52 card pickup
Swallow maple syrup
Sit down fast and stand up
Take a nap and wake up
Or just ride it out until it lets up!

For NPM and the Looking Foolish Scavenger Hunt I give you prompt #10 – hiccup as a monorhyme. How many times have you had hiccups? How many “cures” have you heard of? Ten, twenty, a hundred? Everyone has their favorites. When I was in school several teachers had “cures” that they employed. My 4th grade teacher Mrs. Grady believed in water. She would send you to the drinking fountain to “drown the hiccup”. My 6th grade teacher Mr. Krug would scare the bejesus out of you by nonchalantly walking past your desk and suddenly slamming his hand on the desk. I don’t know if it ever cured hiccups but it certainly put the rest of the class at attention. In 8th grade Mr. Estes, the algebra teacher, had a rubber chicken he would throw at people who weren’t paying attention. He would carry the chicken around as he lectured. To cure hiccups he’d either hurl it at you or slap it over your head. The gym teacher, Ms. Gordon, would make you sit and then stand up – repeatedly until they abated.

I never could understand how any of these cures were helpful. A hiccup is simply a muscle spasm in the diaphragm. It doesn’t usually last very long and will go away on its own. Even if it doesn’t go away quickly there really isn’t much you can do… that is effective!

Looking for the Monsters Under the Bed

Tiptoe to avoid waking death
The heart beats faster as you creep
Muffle your voice and still your breath
Bypass danger while they’re asleep

Ghosts that haunt us in the darkness
Tiptoe to avoid waking death
Avoid notice in the process
To measure dreams by width and breadth

Specters swim in our psyche’s depth
Splash and frolic then leave dream pools
Tiptoe to avoid waking death
Dare to wake us and play us fools

A panic brings us out of bed
Makes us shudder and catch our breath
Strain our ears to a silent tread
Tiptoe to avoid waking death

For NPM and the Looking Foolish Scavenger Hunt using prompt #9 – tiptoe I give you this Quatern. A Quatern is a 16 line French form of 4 quatrains (4 line stanzas). Each line has 8 syllables. The first line of the first quatrain becomes the second line in the 2nd quatrain, the third line of the 3rd quatrain, and the fourth line of the 4th quatrain. There is no set meter or rhyme scheme but the lines should rhyme.

Have you ever been jolted out of a deep sleep by some unknown event, a feeling, a sound? You try to calm your racing heart and shush the blood roaring in your ears so that the palpable danger can be identified. And you lay in bed straining to hear anything unusual but all you hear is the silence of a house asleep? In the end you are forced to acknowledge that there is nothing to be seen or heard; that the only thing awake is your imagination. As you drift off to sleep you have the nagging thought that something had been there…

Looking for Fresh Air

Spring fresh
From a can
Fooling no one

This is a Lanturne – a 5 line poem with a a strict syllable count (1-2-3-4-1) where the last line is a synonym or near synonym of the first line. This uses the Looking Foolish Scavenger Hunt prompt #7 – air.

Living with 3 males I had to resort to various air fresheners out of a sense of self preservation. I installed solid air fresheners in their bedrooms, spray air fresheners in the bathrooms, and I bought Febreeze by the gallon. It was futile. When they would use the bathroom, on reflex I’d shout “FLUSH!” as soon as I heard the door close. It never seemed to work. The green toxic fumes would seep under the door and invade the rest of the house. Kurt Vonnegut, being a male, had the standard attitude toward “passing gas”, “dropping a cookie”, “crop dusting”, “cutting the cheese” or any other euphemism for flatulence. I quote, “And people still laugh about as much as they ever did, despite their shrunken brains. If a bunch of them are lying around on a beach, and one of them farts, everybody else laughs and laughs, just as people would have done a million years ago.” – Galápagos For those not familiar with this book, I recommend you check it out of the library and give it a read. It is about human evolution. A disease forces people to abandon land and basically become seals. Yes, anytime one of the guys lets one rip, they all pause and then laugh. If a woman lets one escape it is cause for complete mortification and profuse apologies. No one thinks it is funny. And on the whole I’m fairly certain the feminine version is lesser in quantity and decibel rating and definitely less toxic. So why are girl farts not funny but the stuff that could be used as a chemical warfare agent is a laugh riot? Go figure…

Looking for the Poem in the Prose

The lighthouse beacon is fickle. I can never hold its attention. I’m seen then it looks away. And I wait. You remind me of that lighthouse. I’m always on the periphery. I’m the drab girl standing in the back next to the fake fichus tree at the funeral. You look at me but you don’t see me. On a grey day I am invisible. A graphite smudge forgotten. I’m not to be trifled with. Your resistance is no match for my persistence. I will soon have your undivided attention and be the sole focus of your eyes. Your light. Your funeral.

The above is a prose poem using the Looking Foolish Scavenger Hunt prompt #8 – Use these words: resistance, funeral, lighthouse, graphite. A prose poem combines characteristics of poetry with the appearance of prose. A prose poem will contain traces of metrical structure or verse and utilize poetic devices such as alliteration, consonance, or sonic repetition.

This poem seems a tad “dark” in tone and topic but that’s how it stands. I have had a rough couple of weeks what with being sick (and the cough lingers) and being a little overwhelmed by work demands. On the bright side, the bathroom remodel is being scheduled. I have stacks of ceramic tiles, faucets, sink and vanity, and a big bathtub in my guest room as a staging area. All we need to do is coordinate with the contractor. And purchase the paint. I’m waffling between a sage green and a dusty blue… decisions!

Looking at Karma

In episode 25 of Looking Back, Merit reveals that she has too much time on her hands. She probably isn’t supposed to be using social media to spy on family but that never stopped her before.

I’ve been taking classes online. It is a diversion. I probably will never use any of it but it is nice to know that I’m educated in the ways and why-fors of real estate having passed my realtor’s licensing exam. I’m also a certificate holder for Computer Technology, Medical Billing and Coding, Cyber Security, Website Design, Hospitality Management, Criminal Justice, Accounting, Asset Protection, and my favorite, Veterinary Assisting. It doesn’t cost too much money and I’ve got lots of free time. The next class in Finance starts in 3 more weeks. I’m hoping to add that certificate to my collection. The last class I took in Hospitality Management required familiarity with social media sites like Yelp, Open Table, and Trip Adviser. I couldn’t help myself. I ended up wasting time looking at reviews on Craig’s List, Facebook, and Pinterest. I even looked up some old acquaintances, just to see what they were up to now days. I discovered that my brother is getting another divorce. I found out that my Aunt Eve died. It was amusing to see the photos of old classmates. They looked so old. Not that I haven’t aged, however I have all my own teeth and am not in a wheelchair! The real thrill was lurking and discovering that at least 3 of my chief tormentors were struggling with obesity, addiction, and cancer. Not that I wished any of those things on them but it is nice to see karma has finally caught up to them. Karma catches everyone in the end. I’m sure karma will bite me in the ass someday too. Just not today.

Looking for the Bottom of the Ocean

Bath time for a child is happy
Soft towel wrapped with a clean nappy
Deep bubble bath no cause to fret
The end of life can hold no threat

A boy teases ducks at the pond
He tickles turtles with a frond
Chases golden fish with a net
The end of life can hold no threat

At the baptismal font I swim
Saving water wash life and limb
Though tidal waves my world beset
The end of life can hold no threat

Don’t try to save me, let me sink
Stare death down, not afraid to blink
I slip into the vast sea wet
The end of life can hold no threat

This is prompt #5 – water for the Looking Foolish Scavenger Hunt in honor of National Poetry Month. I wrote this as a kyrielle. This form is a poem with 4 stanzas. Each stanza has 4 lines with 8 syllables per line written as rhyming couplets. The last line of the first stanza repeats as the last line of all subsequent stanzas. I know it sounds complicated but it isn’t really.

I’ve been underwater both literally and metaphorically. I am still suffering with a horrible head cold. My sinuses have become mucous generating factories running 3 shifts at full capacity 24/7. I’m miserable. I have been to the doctor. They have ruled out strep saying my sore throat is the result of massive post-nasal drip. (It is NOT a drip! It is a water fall of Niagara proportions!) As for the sinuses I’ve been assured that I do not have a sinus infection. The suggested treatment is very homeopathic – to get rid of all the liquid pouring from my head I’m supposed to use the neti pot and pour an additional cup of water into my sinus cavity!! It seems counter intuitive but I’ve done it. No real change except for the brief moment when the saline drips across my raw nose and burns.

As for the metaphorical drowning, well, work is a little overwhelming right now. But I’ve seen worse. I am an old hand at spinning plates and even if I’m a little out of practice, I haven’t forgotten how. My vacation is approaching.